Katey in Zambia

My adventures as a Peace Corps HIV/AIDS Project Volunteer in Zambia. *The contents of this blog are my own opinions and do not reflect those of the United States Peace Corps.*

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I've moved!

This computer is reading everything in Dutch... thanks to Irma (a VSO volunteer here). So I hope that you are all able to read this blog entry in English... I don't know many people who can speak dutch!

As per the title of this blog entry, I've moved villages. I am still in the same catchment area for my clinic, so I am still working with the same groups on the same projects, I just go home to a different hut in a different village now. There were a plethora (yes Liz, I just used a big word... eventhough I'm not sure I spelled it correctly!) of reasons for my move... most of which are hard to explain but I'll narrow it down to water, saftety, remoteness, and distance from the clinic. Overall, its a miracle that my first village ("L") was accepted by Peace Corps as a host village in the first place. I feel blessed to have lived there for 8 months and made not only friends with the members of that community but was really treated as a member of the community in many ways. I will miss living there, especially Barbra.. the little girl who was a terrific friend and help to me during my stay there... but now I only live 13km away from "L" and can therefore go visit for a day any time I want!
When I left Luwawa (Peace Corps was in the area so they helped me move all of my stuff) there was mayhem, but everyone understands that my moving was mostly out of our control and that they did nothing wrong, and if I could have, I would have moved the entire village... just picked it up and placed it right next to the clinic. The new village ("D") has been extremely welcoming and I am making fast friends with the women in the village, especially my neighbor closest neighbor. It is a very different village from "L" where there was basically no cash economy. "D" has a hammer mill (for grinding maize into flour) and many of the members of the family who would traditionally live in the village live in the town nearby and are owners of various businesses. Needless to say, its been an adjustment. Overall I have loved both places equally, but for different reasons since they are so very different.
Right now I am living in a temporary hut (its an actual hut, just not mine) in "D" 4m from the hammer mill. This gives me constant entertainment of talking to the women (and often holding their infants) while they are waiting their turn to grind maize. In July my very own hut will be finished on the other side of the village... which is surprisingly smaller than "L" (there are 22 people in "D", whereas "L" is now at 62 with the birth of twins last week).
Another important part of my move (besides the logistics of being closer to the clinic and all of the care groups, support groups, NGOs, orphan groups, and widow groups that I work with) is that the new village seems to have had more of an impact from HIV in that most of the adults are older, and one woman in particular is a widow caring for 3 of her orphaned grandchildren.
Needless to say, I have begun yet another adventure within the adventure of being a PCV in Zambia!
I have just recently returned from a trip to Victoria Falls for Easter vacation... AMAZING! and am excited to get back to work with my community before meeting up with my parents in July! I will try to post new pictures of my new village and of Victoria falls after writing this so that you can imagine what I am talking about a bit!
Among PC news, I will be helping to train the new HIV/AIDS volutneers for a week when they arrive this summer! I am excited to be a part of the training, and especially excited to welcome 3 new HIV/AIDS volunteers to our (Liz, Josh, and I) district here in Eastern Province! Also, through the ever strong Castle Rock grapevine (although not quite as efficient as the PC rumor mill) I have heard that yet another person from Castle Rock will be joining PC Zambia! That will keep it at a constant 2 at all times. Who knew Castle Rock would have such a presence!
As everyone has been asking in letters etc.... Yes, I am healthy now. No, I still don't have a new bicycle (but rumor has it I will have one by the end of june! ... not new really, but less used and damaged than the current one!)
Speaking of letters, they are much appreciated... thank you! I haven't been to the town closest to my village in a while, so another volunteer was able to bring my mail halfway to me... it was like Christmas in my hut reading all of the letters (and MEGAN'S wedding invitation!!!).
Stay well all of you... I am sure I have more stories, just can't remember them right now.


Blogger Rachel said...

yay you're still alive! i miss you. terribly. i just sent you something this past week!

ps. you did spell it correctly:)

12:52 AM  

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